Immigrants of Irish descent, the Nolans live in utter destitution, in the heart of Williamsburg, a poor and deprived neighborhood of Brooklyn. Betty Smith makes us penetrate the intimacy and the daily life of this penniless family which, despite the misery, exudes love and tenderness. Split into several parts, the story also recounts the meeting of Katie and Johnny (then respectively aged 17 and 19), their marriage six months later and the successive arrival of their two children, Francie and Neeley.True mother-courage, Katie does not count her hours to ensure a minimum income at home, having quickly realized that she could not rely on her husband, unable to assume his responsibilities and drowning his sorrow and his disappointments in the alcohol. As a boy-singer, Johnny’s money is indeed inconstant and immediately dilapidated in alcohol. For all that, her fertile imagination and her fantasies have earned her the unconditional love of her children. An attentive and loving father, Johnny tries to make up for the failings of a mother who is not very demonstrative and sometimes awkward, who has always preferred to Francie her little brother, Neeley.___ The seemingly unhappy context and the sometimes abrupt realism of the narrative do not, however, in any way undermine the wonderful message of hope that the novel brings. Because the Nolan also know their fate philosophically, sometimes going so far as to show a real sense of self-deprecation to make the unsustainable more bearable. Katie deploys imaginative treasures to soothe hunger and calm empty stomachs. Above all, she clings to the hope of a better life for her children that she dreams of seeing rise in society. Aware that social ascension is achieved through education, she imposes every evening on Francie and her brother to read a page of the Bible and works of Shakespeare, and places the school at the heart of its concerns. Beyond the knowledge, Katie also strives to instill in her children essential and fundamental values.While her father, an inveterate sentimentalist and disenchanted romantic, takes refuge in alcohol, it is in reading that Francie finds her plank of salvation. Literature opens up new horizons for her, as unsuspected as it is to bring fabulous hopes for this young woman in the making.